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Bill to remove principals’ evaluations from public review draws fire

Advocates for government transparency are objecting to language in an education bill that would prevent the public from reviewing school principals’ performance appraisals. At present, whether the public has access to those performance appraisals depends largely on the policies of individual school districts. But HB 2823, authored by Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, would specifically exempt principals’ evaluations from public disclosure.

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Teaching tablets (access required)

Given the popularity and practical uses for technology, you’d be hard-pressed to find a school district in Arizona that isn’t giving students a taste of 21st century education.

The spread of laptops, hand-held devices and smart phones in classrooms is driven by rapid expansion of technology itself and by the fact that it’s the world that kids live in today.

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Digital learning day (access required)

At least 28 states, including Arizona, will participate in the first Digital Learning Day on Feb. 1, to celebrate innovative teachers and instructional strategies focusing on the use of technology.

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Arizona Ready (access required)

Even with the most up-to-date computers and other technology gizmos, key educators say schools will not be able to deliver quality education without effective teachers at the front of the classroom.

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Lawmakers urging classes on sex, money and the Bible (access required)

Sex, money, the Bible and the U.S. Constitution are some of the subjects lawmakers are proposing this session to be taught in Arizona classrooms.

Most of the bills come from Republicans inspired by personal experiences, and they manage to reconcile their proposed classroom mandates with the principles of small government and local control of curriculum.

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TUSD disbands Mexican American Studies program (access required)

The state will no longer be mired in litigation over Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program. TUSD’s governing board and a federal judge made sure of that Jan. 10 when they respectively disbanded the program and dismissed 11 teachers as plaintiffs in a constitutional challenge to the 2010 law that restricts the teaching of ethnic studies in the state, which was passed as HB2281.

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Melvin eyeing nuke facilities for school funding (access required)

Sen. Al Melvin is hoping there is a dual solution to the problems facing K-12 schools and nuclear power plants, and he wants Arizona to take advantage of the opportunity.

Nuclear plants need a place to store waste and reprocess spent fuel, and Melvin thinks Arizona would be ideal. And if Arizona became home to such a site, Melvin said it could be used to fund schools.

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